Catholic church celebrating Rural Life Day


Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Students at Sacred Heart Catholic School have been designing pots with plants for Rural Life Day, which will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on March 22. The first grade students and art teacher, Sue Simeons, holding their pots are, from left, Ryan Dickmann, Evelyn Ross, Addyson Fowler-Doxtator, Dylan Moesch and Corby Wassenberg.

Rural Life Day is a diocesan celebration of gratitude for land and individuals who produce food and fiber to nourish lives. This year, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano has been chosen to host Rural Life Day on March 22.

“There’s so much planning,” said coordinator Mary Lou Kugel, adding she could use help.

Bishop David Ricken, who will preside at the 10:30 a.m. Mass, will bless equipment, animals and seeds.

A banner that is being designed by school personnel will exemplify the church community. Kugel said she took pictures of banners at last year‘s Rural Life Day at St. Mary‘s in Bear Creek and Holy Family in Brillion for ideas.

During Mass, there will be the blessing of seeds and soil.

“Wheelbarrows will be available to bring them up during the offertory,” Kugel said.

After Mass, there will be a mini-parade of equipment that will leave from the parking lot north of the Lincoln School Apartments and process to Sacred Heart.

“Anyone who wants to bring in harvest equipment can,” Kugel said. “The bishop will bless every entry.”

Animals will also be blessed and must be contained and under control of their owners.

After Mass, there will be a luncheon served by the Council of Catholic Women in the cafeteria. On March 3-4, and March 10-11. Tickets will be sold for $10.00 which is the cost set by the diocese.

Following the luncheon the speaker in church will be Fabulous Farm Babe, Pam Jahnke, a radio personality and farm newscaster. She grew up on her family’s 200-acre farm and then studied at University of Wisconsin-River Falls. In 1990, she became farm director in Madison on a single station for the WI Farm Report Network and now is on 23 radio stations across the state along with daily reports on the Madison CBS television affiliate.

Except for the luncheon, the festivities are free and open to the public. All parishioners, extended families, friends and community members are invited and welcome to participate.

For information or to volunteer, contact Kugel at 715-584-2246 or email